A message in Maine ‘even our kids can understand’

A MESSAGE IN MAINE ‘EVEN OUR KIDS CAN UNDERSTAND’…. In the Senate, one of the key impediments — if not the principal obstacle — to legislation intended to boost the economy is the delegation from Maine. In a Congress where moderate Republicans have all but disappeared, Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins are supposed to be the GOP senators who can help break Republican filibusters on measures that matter.

But when it comes to the economy, both Snowe and Collins have decided party loyalty and long-term deficit fears matter more than economic growth and job creation. When it comes to unemployment benefits, key tax credits, and preventing massive layoffs at the state level, Snowe and Collins won’t even let the Senate vote.

The ostensible moderates are no doubt facing a great deal of party pressure in Washington, so there’s a new effort to place public pressure on Snowe and Collins in Maine. Americans United for Change (AUC) and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) have launched this new television ad in Maine today, hoping to get the senators to listen to reason.

If you can’t watch clips from you work computers, the ad shows a series of photos of children, with a narrator doing a voice-over: “It’s pretty simple, the more jobs we create now, the less Federal debt they’ll have to carry later. Because jobs not only put food on the table, they put revenue in the treasury and money in the marketplace. More jobs equal less debt, even our kids can understand that. Tell Senators Snowe and Collins to pass the jobs bill now. Not just for us, but for our children.”

I like the ad, precisely because it turns the larger argument on its head. For the right, senators can’t possibly try to improve the economy, because that would increase the deficit … which our kids will eventually have to deal with. But the AUC/AFSCME ad offers a more compelling vision — if you want to help the kids, let’s create some jobs. A stronger economy means a lower deficit.

The ad isn’t just some web video — it’s part of a six-figure ad buy in Maine. Here’s hoping it has the desired effect.